19 April 2018
| Natalie Bannerman
An increasing number of service providers are turning to Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) the software defined networking (SDN) solution, says the company.
The solution reduces operational coats using an automated,
policy-based programmable architecture whilst improving
scalability and security. The new Cisco ACI multi-site
management capability enables service providers to connect and
manage multiple geographically distributed Cisco ACI fabrics to
move and manage workloads using one fibre connection.
Globally Cisco ACI is being deployed by the likes of NTT
Communications in the US, T-Systems in Germany, Hosters in
Denmark, scanplus GmbH in Germany, Tieto Oyj in Finland and
Ritter in the US.
NTT Communications has begun focussing on managed services
to better serve its enterprise customers with offerings
tailored to key verticals that also meet compliance
"Cisco ACI means applications guide the way the network
acts, not the other way around," says Indranil Sengupta, vice
president of product engineering at NTT Com.
"We’re able to offer an outstanding customer
experience with fewer errors and up to 80 percent better
T-Systems selected Cisco ACI to provide its customers with
tailored infrastructure, platforms, and software solutions.
"Our customers want high quality services, uncompromised
security, and flexibility, all at a reasonable price," said
Andreas Schwall, delivery executive production mid-market at
T-Systems. "Our challenge was to reduce IT effort and
maintenance-based outages, while improving capacity at the
network and security layer."
In addition, Cisco ACI also allows T-Systems to run more
agile, flexible, operations and new security offerings for
customers. "Based on open APIs and an application-centric view
of our landscape, we can reduce lead times during the
on-boarding process and rapidly add more services to our
portfolio," added Schwall.
As for Hosters turned to Cisco ACI to reduce time to market
and to provide customers with the right solution easily and
quickly. As a result Cisco ACI is now operating in three
Hosters data centres and baby spines, and the company is
planning to upgrade its data centres to 100GbE.
"The results of the Cisco ACI deployment have exceeded our
expectations," said Thomas Raabo, CTO, Hosters. "Our deployment
time of new services to customers has been cut down from weeks
to hours, and we are spending less time on systems integration
and more time on innovation. We’re moving to a
DevOps model of continuous improvement, and we’re
creating agility and value that can be passed along to our
sscanplus chose Cisco ACI to address these needs, and will
also benefit from a network fabric that scales to multiple
sites, with single pane-of-glass management and automation.
"With Cisco ACI, we have full segmentation of each tenant,
and can also reference other tenant objects within a tenant
while maintaining isolation, which makes them private,
separated, and highly secure," said Stefan Daiber, head of
architecture at scanplus. "The openness of Cisco ACI is a big
benefit," said Daiber. "It doesn’t just support
any hypervisor, but also all of the network equipment
surrounding the hypervisor. It gives us a tremendous amount of
choice and flexibility."
Tieto deployed Cisco ACI as a Layer 2 fabric in six of its
data centres in three countries. It chose Cisco ACI solution to
ensure a holistic architecture with centralised automation and
policy-driven application profiles.
"Cisco ACI provides a foundation that we can build on
to channel innovation into new services," said Juha
Syrjänen, Head of Connectivity Services Business at Tieto.
"We’ll be able to quickly and efficiently deliver
basic connectivity services, while building a new connectivity
ecosystem between our customers, their other partners, and
Lastly Ritter Communications explained its reason for using
Cisco ACI, with Greg Sunderwood, vice president of engineering
at Ritter Communications, saying: "We serve a very rural
market, and many network managers are tied to their servers.
They wouldn’t feel comfortable putting everything
in the public cloud. "We wanted more differentiation on the
front end and more control on the back end."
"We essentially pull the public cloud into a
customer’s environment," added Brandon Fergerson,
senior cloud engineer at Ritter Communications. "Microsoft
Azure is the customer-facing management console, and Cisco ACI
handles back end infrastructure and network management.
"We’ve turned server-hugging scepticism into
cloud-first approaches. I see it all the time. The
subscriptions start with just one low-risk server, then it
seems like every time I check back on that tenant, they are
adding more and more resources in the cloud as the trust grows.
The Ritter cloud is a simple, customer-friendly, highly
automated offering, and it’s been the catalyst for
a mind shift—for us and our customers."